By Jeff Moeller
Two of the lasting memories from Jacksonville’s playoff divisional loss to Kansas City involved both Jamal Agnew and Trevor Lawrence.
Agnew had a costly fumble in the final moments of the game that could have cost the Jaguars a shot at tying the game. And Lawrence had a damaging interception also in the game’s final chapter.
However, no one should blame either of them for the Jaguars’ playoff exit. If it wasn’t for both of their heroic efforts, the Jags would have not made it to the postseason.
Both were justly rewarded with a Pro Bowl nomination in the new league format that will begin Thursday and will culminate Sunday in Las Vegas. With the recent decline of the game in recent years, it’s not about the game, but about the recognition.
We have all seen how Lawrence has progressed this season, and he easily be referred to on the same line as young studs Pat Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, Joe Borrow, and Josh Allen. Ironically, Lawrence is replacing Mahomes for the game.
Lawrence is the 32nd Pro Bowler in franchise history. He is the third quarterback for the Jaguars to earn a Pro Bowl nod, joining Mark Brunell and David Garrard. Brunell was a three-time Pro Bowl selection (1996, ‘97, ‘99) for t Garrard was tabbed for the honor for the 2009 season.
This past regular season, Lawrence completed 387 of 584 passes (66.3 percent) for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for 291 yards and five additional touchdowns.
In the postseason, Lawrence was 52 of 86 passes (60.4 percent) for 505 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions. He has his momentous four-touchdown, second-half performance against the Chargers in the Jags’ epic comeback Wild Card win.
Agnew was a game changer with his kickoff and punt returns as well as his change-of-pace option in the backfield.
He returned 21 kickoffs for 547 yards (26.0 average) and amassed 25 punt returns for 205 yards (8.2 average). Agnew ranked second in the AFC with his 26.0 kick return average. His longest regular-season was a 54-yarder against Tennessee, and he had a 63-yard return against the Chiefs in the playoffs.
Even though the Pro Bowl has lost its luster, you can take a line from the ugly Christmas gift we all get – it’s the thought that counts.
And with Lawrence and Agnew, the thoughts about them and future Pro Bowl nominations were run long and deep.
(SportsDay Columnist Jeff Moeller covers the NFL and other sports for the Florida Sports Wire)